Sunday, July 11, 2010

iPad, Kindle, and Gaming

No I didn't buy one (yet). But I got to play with one extensively yesterday with the wireless turned on.

The short of it it is amazing. Particularly for multimedia content, pictures, pdfs, and movies. As a computer it is so-so Apple (and Jobs) are too obsessed with created a walled garden for the iPad be outstanding as a computer. But with the multimedia stuff the future is now.

I was able to open up full color PDFs and effortlessly read them zoom in an out at will. Even with the full page filling the screen it was readable for the most part. Images were great, I was able to open up some of my maps and be able zoom in and scroll around in full glorious color. The Safari web browser was pretty good. I liked how it handled multiple web pages. You can hit a icon on the top and a screen opens with multiple pages that you viewed. You can create a new slot and fill it with a page or just touch one of the other pages and immediately go to it. Very nice indeed.

With the right applications the iPad can be a killer device for gaming. The key is to use the touch interface to have multiple stuff loaded and be able to switch effortlessly between them.

Like the Kindle in the beginning the price is too high to be of general use but it will drop. When it get under $200 I predict it will start picking up steam.

I also got a look at the Kindle 2 last week and it is improved over the first version I have. The increased number of grays it can display really helps. Plus it can show PDFs natively and has the ability to switch orientation when you rotate the display. Plus certainly the price is way better now with it being at $189. Barnes & Noble Nook is even lower at $149.

All of this happening a little faster than I thought instead of 10 years I will go with the prediction that within 5 years we will see devices that will make a major change in how we buy and consume gaming products. For example for D&D 4e fans imagine a setup that now only has your three books loaded but also had the entirely of DDI loaded as well. And it displays like a regular character sheet.


Tenkar said...

Some quick comments:

The Kindle 2 is an excellent book reader, less so a PDF reader. Screen is just too small.

The Kindle DX is a decent PDF reader. Chokes on some - I assume it has to do with highly layered PDFs.

The iPad ROCKS! heh. I ordered a 3g version when it first came out. It has become my preferred method to read PDFs and for surfing the web and for blogging and for... it's just many levels of awesomeness.

Unknown said...

Interesting article - though the simple fact that the iPad is from Apple kills my interest in it. But it makes me very interested in what its competitors will look like, especially ones that are more in the vein of open source.

Robert Conley said...

The walled garden mentality of Apple is a pain in the ass. I am too looking forward to what the competition is coming out with.

scottsz said...

Still skeptical of the 'costs of feeding' an iPad and its price tag, but I love posts about involving new tech at the table.

Tenkar said...

If the wall isnt to your liking, jailbreak it. Not that I have. Haven't found the need to... yet ;)

nothing said...

You can pickup a refurbished Kindle 2 from Amazon for $140.

Alan said...

Android tablets are in the works, so I too will abstain from Apple (haven't owned one since my trusty ][e of long ago).

Unknown said...

Just started putting some gaming utility apps on my iPhone (NPC name generator?).

Looking forward to an iPad for my most common use-cases (PDFs, movies, pics) and of course for a gaming utility at the table.

I haven't had any problems with the Apple "stewards". If I ever bump into the wall, then I'll think about it.

In my experience, most people who bitch about the "walled garden" don't ever actually bump into it in normal use anyways. I believe it's the very idea of such a perimeter that pisses off people.

Unknown said...

On another note, Rob, I think that your estimates are far too conservative.

We will see such mobile notepads change our gaming trends (or at least those of younger gamers) within 2-3 years. Quote me on it!

Unknown said...

I am a Kindle fan also. It is easy to highlight text and make notes with Kindle, and I never need to look around for a highlighter or pen.

MJ Harnish said...

I've had my iPad for a couple of months now and still love it - as a media consumption device it's great and it's also great for general Internet usage (I'm typing this reply on it). I've written a pretty extensive review of my experiences with it on my blog () already, but suffice it to say it's an excellent addition to the game table, especially if you're using PDFs and/or wanting a simple way to show images or sketch a diagram.

Robert said...

I’m experimenting with using my iPad for gaming.

Two apps I’m imagining:

A PDF reader that lets me quickly switch between multiple files/pages similar to Safari.

An app that displays an image and allows attaching notes to specific locations and editing them. For keying maps and keeping the key up-to-date.